2021 Ake Festival to hold virtually around “Generational Discordance” theme

The 2021 edition of Ake Arts and Books Festival (AABF), a yearly three-day programme of cultural and literature-focused events, will, for the second year, hold virtually from October 28 to 30, 2021.

Book Buzz Foundation Nigeria founded by the award-winning author and poet Lola Shoneyin, says the decision to stay virtual is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to disrupt global businesses and logistics.

The theme of this year’s event is “Generational Discordance”. 

 “The Internet has exposed generational differences in almost every area of our lives on the African continent. From relationships, love and marriage; spirituality and religion; gender and feminism to politics and activism, the differences in perspective are glaring. Where earlier generations of Africans are anchored to their cultural identities, our younger compatriots see themselves as a part of a globalised world. It is easy to assume that our aspirations are poles apart but they are not,” says Shoneyin.

Africa, she adds, cannot afford the luxury of endless culture wars. 

“We must eschew the sensationalism and divisive influence of digital algorithms and find a more harmonious continental rhythm that allows us to talk to, and not past, each other.”

The festival will feature book chats, panel discussions and six intergenerational conversations on themes that impact lives in real ways.

There will also be films, music, poetry, Yoruba culture and interviews. Some of the book discussions will be Bring Back Our Girls by Drew Hinshaw and Joe Parkinson; Lionheart Girl by Yaba Badoe; His Only Wife,” by Peace Medie; Formation: The Making of Nigeria from Jihad to Amalgamation by Fola Fagbule and Feyi Fawehinmi; Prince of Monkeys by Nnamdi Ehirim; An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon, Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi; Born in Blackness by NYT columnist Howard French, When the Sky is Ready The Stars Will Appear by EC Osondu and The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Dorkoa Sekyiamah; and The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon.

Apart from the intergeneration conversations, panel discussions will focus The African Crime-writing, Conspiracy theories and Healthcare; Disability rights, repatriating Africa’s stolen treasures and a discussion moderated by Harper Collins’s (UK) Nancy Adimora which explores Of This Our Country, a new collection of essays and reflections by 24 Nigerian writers.

In addition to many more events, attendees will also be able to enjoy interviews with Denrele Sonariwo of Rele Gallery and Ade Bantu the founder of Afropolitan Vibes. The Life and Times Series will feature Booker-Prize shortlisted author Maaza Mengiste, in conversation with Tanzanian author and the 2021 Nobel Prize winner, Prof Abdulrazak Gurnah.

Since its inception in 2013, the Aké Arts and Book Festival has featured new and established writers from the African continent and its global diaspora with a view to promoting, developing and celebrating creativity, Culture and the Arts on the African continent. 

In 2018, the festival, which started in Abeokuta, Ogun State relocated to Lagos. The festival has been regarded as the largest annual gathering of African writers, editors, critics and readers in the world.

The festival has been supported by Sterling Bank Plc since 2018.

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